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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



JOHN W. ARROWSMITH, JR., a highly respected resident of Padua Township, is successfully operating the farm of his mother, which is pleasantly located on section 32. From this he derives a handsome income, and is also the owner of sixty acres of good land on section 5, Empire Township. The father of our subject was John W. Arrowsmith, Sr., a native of Ross County, Ohio, where he passed his childhood and youth, and developing into manhood engaged at farming pursuits. There also he was married to Miss Nancy Oliver, a lady of Irish parentage and descent, but a native of Maryland. After marriage the young people settled on a farm in Green Township, Ross Co., Ohio, whence in 1854 they emigrated to Illinois, making the journey overland with teams. They settled in Padua Township, on section 32, where the father of our subject purchased 160 acres of land, and ninety acres in Empire Township, on section 5. He was born Oct. 31, 1805, and departed this life Jan. 11, 1885, on the homestead which he had established in this county. The wife and mother is yet living, making her home with her younger daughter, Nancy M., at Leroy.

The subject of this history was born in Green Township, Ross Co., Ohio, June 13, 1849, being the youngest but one of a family of eight children, two of whom are deceased. He was five years of age when his parents removed from the Buckeye State to Illinois, and received his education mostly in Padua Township. He remained an inmate of the parental home until 1873, then going into Seward County, Neb., engaged in farming, being also married there on the 2d of September, 1875, at the home of the bride's parents, to Miss May M. Davis. Mrs. A. was born in Lee County, Iowa, in the vicinity of Keokuk, Dec. 27, 1855. She was the daughter of James T. and Amanda E. (Collins) Davis, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. They removed West while young, and were married in Lee County, Iowa. After marriage they went to Nebraska, settling on a farm in Seward County. Later the father returned East to Butler County, Neb., where he died July 27, 1882. The mother married again and is now a resident of Lincoln, Neb.

Mrs. Arrowsmith was the elder of her mother's two children, and went with the latter to Nebraska, remaining with her until her marriage. Of her union with our subject there have been born five children—Preston D., Maudalena, Rose O., John W. and Alvin R.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Arrowsmith located in Seward County, Neb., where they lived five years, and then came to Illinois, settling first at Stumptown, this county, and in about 1885 removed to their present home. Mr. Arrowsmith politically is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party, and as a business man and citizen is considered one of the valued members of the community.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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